Five-goal Mayo make it three in a row in Connacht
Published 21/07/2013 | 15:45
Mayo secured their third Connacht title in a row for the first time since 1950 with a 5-11 to 0-10 win over London in Castlebar but James Horan has been left with plenty to ponder.
Cillian O'Connor's second half hat-trick was the highlight of a lacklustre display from Mayo who were poor in front of goals and a big improvement will be needed by the time the All-Ireland quarter-finals come around.
London incredible journey in the Connacht championship comes to an end but they performed with credit and really should have finished off some of the goal chances gifted to them by Mayo
Mayo signalled their intent right from the off with Kevin McLoughlin firing over a free after the returning Andy Moran was fouled.
Aidan O'Shea was exerting a lot of influence in the middle third but wayward shooting was hindering Mayo.
Paul Geraghty was fouled late and Lorcan Mulvey, a Cavan native, slotted London's opening point.
Mayo's response was immediate with Richie Feeney pointing despite good defending initially by the Exiles.
London made the cardinal error of coughing up possession in their defence with Alan Freeman dispossessing Shane Mulligan before sauntering in and finishing to the net.
A bouyant Freeman kicked the next score and suddenly Mayo led by 1-3 to 0-1 after 12 minutes.
London stemmed the tide with a Damien Dunleavy point from play.
Lee Keegan and Kevin McLoughlin finished well worked moves before London had a goal ruled out for a foul on Mayo keeper Rob Henley.
Seamus O'Shea fluffed a big chance to put daylight between the teams when he blew a glorious goal chance.
Alan Freeman pointed for Mayo before Darren Coen marked his first Connacht final appearance witha goal to make it 2-6 to 0-2 after 23 minutes but that would be their final score of the half as they added to their wide haul which was 11 in the opening period.
Lorcan Mulvey kicked a three successive frees for the Exiles who trailed by 2-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
Mulvey continued his scoring streak with the first score of the second half.
Flying wing-back Lee Keegan and Andy Moran responded by raising white flags for James Horan's men.
London sub Colin Daly missed a great goal chance for London and Mayo made them pay as Cillian O'Connor, who was introduced at half-time, pounced for Mayo's third goal.
O'Connor and Mulvey swapped frees before London missed another goal chance for Cathal Magee.
Sean Kelly steered over a free from the right for London before Cillian O'Connor got his second goal after unselfish play from Andy Moran and led by 4-9 to 0-8 after 48 minutes.
Tom Cunniffe's surging run earned Mayo a penalty and Cillian O'Connor duly dispatched it for his hat-trick.
Cillian added a brace of frees to bring his second half total to 3-3.
Padraig McGoldrick and Lorcan Mulvey kicked the final two points of the game for London but it was Mayo and Andy Moran who lifted the Nestor Cup.